#IABFLYIN: Small Publisher Conference & Fly-In Recap

Hey Cuties,

Last week I spent two days with the fine folks of the Interactive Advertising Bureau {IAB}. They hosted a F-R-E-E two day Small Publisher Conference & Fly-In, in Washington, DC. This was the first time I’d heard of them, but I plan to be a regular going forward. I immediately signed up not knowing what to expect and not knowing anyone else that had been. IAB brings small publishers to DC to discuss hot topics and then to meet members of Congress and their staff. The event was hosted by Google and AOL so I knew it couldn’t be bad.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 1

DAY 1: 

Kicked off with a networking lunch, because they know how to woo me. VP of Marketing, Chris Glushko kicked things off with a greeting. CEO & President Rieva Lesonsky of GrowBiz Media talked to us about building a digital Digital Brand. It isn’t enough to just have a website, you need to publish a regular newsletter and include diverse forms of sharing your content. Something along the lines of podcasts, e-books, infographics, courses, and more. We have to find which methods work best for us.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 2

Shashi Bellamkonda of Surefire Social Mi & Christine of Moms N’ Charge

We also discussed earning more with content syndication and native marketing with Susan Getgood of She Knows Media. She is so freaking dope. The major topic for me was the issue of ad blocking. OMG! I’ve been to conference after conference and nobody is having this conversation. Stay woke people! As bloggers we work with brands to support our digital space, to pay bills, to live. Ads are a part of that formula, they can appear is a variety of ways. Nobody wants to be annoyed, myself included but they are a necessary evil. Instead of just blocking them one should educate them-self a bit. Look more big picture.

NOTE: They fed us like Kings and Queens. I’m talking great lunch, bomb snacks and quality beverages. These are my people.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 3

Fresh off the elevator

Following great discussion, we headed over to the Google offices for a little reception. MORE FOOD!

IAB Small Publisher Conference 4

Photo Credit: IAB – Group Photo, see me on the far right?

They kept the cocktails flowing as we introduced ourselves and continued some of the conversations from earlier.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 7

Dope seat at Google

This chair was really cool and you know I love some branding.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 8

Photo Credit: IAB – Dinner is served

I told you that IAB knows how to make a gal feel good. Dinner was yummy, I was in great company, my wine glass never got a chance to go empty. We finished off day one with a raspberry tart and lots of chatter.


Started off like a champion… with food! Food with parents. Then we headed to Capitol Hill.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 9

Photo Credit: IAB – Group Photo with the Capitol in the back.

The gang is all here and we ready to talk about the importance of small business owners and how we factor into legislature. We split into teams and divided and conquered.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 14

Photo Credit: IAB – The Crew plus a few

Shout out to Rob Hartwell, {Below pic, bottom right.} he was our chaperon and navigated us around The Hill. He totally lucked up with the best group ever.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 12

Photo Credit: IAB – Maryland Representative Steny H. Hoyer’s Office

As we moved around we introduced ourselves and our businesses. We informed them of the impact their decision has on our small business. Example: They may make a ruling to crack down on a major digital brand not realizing that it also hits the small business owners. A major brand will be annoyed but they have teams of folks and plenty of money and they aren’t hurting for anything. Meanwhile that same ruling could shut a small business all the way down. Translation: Mortgage is unpaid, childcare has to be cut out, already strained budgets are squeeze to capacity.

This was one of my favorite visits especially because it is my home state. I look forward to connecting and working with Representative Steny Hoyer’s office in the future.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 19

Touring Capitol Hill

Oh we were busy honey…

IAB Small Publisher Conference 13

Snack Run

So busy we needed snacks. This is a store in the Capitol. There is no attendant but lots of security cameras. You can see them in the left of the picture. IAB took care of our tab and we got some goodies to hold us over until lunch.

They had an AT&T store, Verizon, a cleaner, a graphics place and a lot of other shops. You don’t have to leave this building for any reason.


IAB Small Publisher Conference 17

Voting Clock

Do you know the significance of this clock? I didn’t until my visit. So the clocks light up and buzz, this tells the members of the House and the Senate when actions are taking place on the floor. When it is solid red like in the picture above that means the Senate is in Session. When it is a solid orange color that means the House is in session. Depending on the length of the buzz this might tell you sessions are about to start, it is time to vote, session going on break and more.

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Voting Status on TV’s in the office

The day was all kinds of cool and then it was lunch time. The cool turned all the way up. If you follow me on Snap Chat (MimiCuteLips) then you got to see a lot of the action in real time.

IAB Small Publisher Conference 15

Capitol Hill Cafeteria

When I say they had everything, they had everything.  Peep the different banners in the picture, if you wanted it they had it. There was a station for it all I’m talking sushi, dessert, soul food, sandwiches, salads, EVERYTHING PEOPLE. I went for the mac & cheese because somebody’s grandma was in the back baking it up. All mac & cheese is NOT created equal but it was bomb.  Again the fine folks at the IAB picked up the tab.

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Photo Credit: IAB – Indiana Representative Jackie Walorski’s Office

It was nice to be heard, it was nice to see representatives and staffers so engaged in our discussion. It was fun to see each office decorated to represent their respective states. FUN FACT: M&M’s are made in Tennessee.

My Boo Moms ‘N Charge and I had a blast all day. Peep her recap HERE.

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MimiCuteLips & Moms ‘N Charge

I look forward to doing it again next year.

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The Capitol

Today was a good freaking day. Please understand the importance of having your voice heard. We need to have a seat at the table.

#IABFLYIN- Small Publisher Conference & Fly-In Recap

Chat with me in the comment below or FB, IG or Twitter.


Article written by:

Mimi Robinson is the Lifestyle Media Correspondent and editor behind MimiCuteLips®. She is a wife and mother of two. You can find Mimi working media at your favorite events, traveling and trying out new adventures, or working on a dope DIY project.

Join the discussion

  1. Pingback: Moms 'N Charge #IABFlyIn IAB Small Publisher Fly-in: Why Every Blogger Should Attend - Moms 'N Charge

  2. Jeanette

    Sounds like it was a fun and successful trip for you! I need to go to something like this myself! I know that you can learn so much at these conferences.

  3. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    This sounds like it was a great conference. These are the kind of conferences that can really help you take yourself to the next level.

  4. Dogvills

    What an awesome experience. I am sure you learned so much from this conference. I would love to attend an event like this one day.

  5. Christy Maurer

    That sounds like it was a great experience. I’ve never been to a conference like that, but it sounds like you gained a ton of useful knowledge…and great food 🙂

  6. Terri Beavers

    I’ve never been to a conference like this before but I want to after seeing your photos. It looks like something that would hold my attention from start to finish (and that’s not an easy task to do).

  7. Chardline ChanelFaiteau

    This was a greatly detailed coverage. It almost felt like I was there. That atmosphere seems like it was swimming with inspiration! Happy you loved it!

  8. JENN

    What an amazing conference! I bet you learned so much!! I never knew so much about the senate! I love the real meaning behind the clock! Very cool!!

  9. Miles L.

    Sounds like a great event for publishers. I haven’t heard about IAB before but I’d like to check them out.

  10. Kelly Hutchinson

    Looks like it was a great conference! I’m jealous I missed out on this one!

  11. Kathy

    That looks like a fun conference. I’ve never been to any kind of conference before. I’m glad to hear you had fun. I would love to be able to go to the capital someday.

  12. Ann Bacciaglia

    I love to go to conferences. This looks like it was fun.

  13. Ashley

    This sounds like such a fantastic trip! And everything you learned about the clock is really cool. I’d love to do something like this some day!

  14. Jamie

    I love attending conferences and events like this. The content (and food) are generally amazing.

  15. William Sweeney

    I would love to go to a conference like this. Looks like so much fun and so many amazing people to meet!

  16. Ashleigh @Dash of Evans

    That look so fab! Even better because it was FREE! I love DC. Great recap!

  17. Travel Blogger

    I always leave a conference feeling inspired, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. There is no better place to reset and to form connections.

  18. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. What a great event. I have always wanted to go to Washington DC. Now that I have better health and wellness I am up for more traveling this year.

  19. Amy @ Marvelous Mommy

    Awesome, I didn’t know that Google and AOL had a free conference! My husband and I went to the capitol on our trip to DC in November. I’m glad you got a better view than we did, the construction they were doing had it completely covered up.

  20. Stacie

    Look at you on Capitol Hill and all! Sounds like a really informative conference.

  21. Shirley Wood

    I hadn’t heard of IAB. It looks like they treated all of their guest in style. Such a fun time in D.C. Free is always nice.

  22. Taylor Ebner

    Wow, I have never heard of this; it is such a great opportunity! This is something I need to look into for next year!

  23. Eva

    Wow! Looks like it was a really educational event… and for FREE 99? Can’t beat that!

  24. Michelle

    This is something all bloggers need to do. We have such a huge impact and can do such amazing things when given the opportunity to do so. It looks so fun and informative.

  25. Jeanine

    Looks and sounds like a great conference! I have been invited to a couple of conferences and hope to someday be able to get to one!

  26. Jenny

    I love Washington DC there is so much there to see there. Looks like a fun conference to attend.

  27. Liz Mays

    This sounded like an awesome event. It’s really cool that small business owners have a chance to communicate with representatives in DC.

  28. Mitch

    This looks like an excellent conference. I love how today anyone can publish anything. And who knows who will get lucky and make it big, anything is possible these days, we all have a shot!

  29. Heather @ Kraus House Mom

    Looks like that conference was full of fun and opportunities, those are the best kids.

  30. Brandy

    Looks like an awesome trip, what a fun way to learn more about things! I haven’t attended a conference in ages, was a fun experience. This one looks worth the trip!

  31. Sarah

    I am glad you were able to attend this conference – looks like it was an awesome time!

  32. Michele d

    What an wonderful experience and an honor to be included in this conference. Just looking at the pictures, it seems like it was a wonderful trip.

  33. dudemom

    Great recap! I’ve always wondered what IAB was like. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Shari Neal Williams

    You’re giving me conference envy. I can’t believe that was $free.99! Thanks for sharing your experience and I’m glad to hear it was a valuable experience.

  35. Angelic Sinova

    This sounds like an awesome conference. It definitely gets major bonus points for being FREE!

  36. Jay |

    I had not heard of this event before. Thanks for taking along with you. I did not know the significance of the clock. How cool.

  37. Noel Barnwell

    Looks like a great time! I love DC, its always a fun time. And who doesn’t love FREE? Hahaha. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  38. Bella B (xoxoBella)

    I am not familiar with IAB, but it looks like it was a great event. 🙂

  39. Kirstin N. Fuller (@thetravelindiva)

    This sounds like a fabulous event. I will have to add it to my list of must attend events next year.

  40. Kita

    Oh I definitely need to check out IAB. Love that there is a company behind the scenes looking out for us small publishers.

  41. Ana Elizabeth

    Wow! I love going to conferences like this. Looks like it was really fun. Bloggers like us really need this kind of event.

  42. Dana Carmel

    Sounds like this was a very productive conference. And good mac + cheese is always a nice touch!

  43. Kim

    It sounds like a great event with great food and people…oh and the drinks.

  44. Chrishelle

    Looks like a very cool event for publishers. You always learn so much at conferences. Especially a free conference.

  45. Ricci

    What an amazing conference!! I was in DC last summer and loved it!! I can’t wait to go back!

  46. Jessica Simms

    This looks like a great conference to attend, I would love to attend something like one of these in the near future.

  47. Foodfashionandflow

    I haven’t heard of this one, but I enjoy going to conferences. It looks like it was very productive for you.

  48. Bijee

    Love it!!! You and Christine are everywhere I swear!!!

  49. Nicole @Nicole's Lifestyle Lounge

    This is my first time hearing about the IAB. Heading over to their site to check them out.

  50. Valerie Robinson

    Darn – I’m right here in DC and wish I could have gone. Looked like a jam-packed day of info! Lovely recap!

  51. Brittany

    Wow this sounds like a great opportunity and a wonderful conference! I would love to visit DC

  52. Kiwi

    Great post but I will be honest I wish there were more colorful faces in the room. Le sigh but happy to see you and Christine there representing! Looks like you learned a lot and they treated you all so well!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Kiwi, I always wish for that. In the group total I think it was only about 4 or so. I’m trying girl, I’m trying.

  53. Pingback: National Sunglasses Day - MimiCuteLips

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